Last weekend was the final two games of the inaugural season for the Pennsylvania Huntsmen. They were on the road at the Showcase hosted by the Philadelphia Little Flyers in Aston, PA.
** Showcase Format 2-25 minute periods **
Overall, the weekend didn't mean much for the Huntsmen. The New Jersey 87s already clinched the top seed in the Mid Atlantic Division locking the Huntsmen at #2. The Union Jr. Thunder were already set in the Play In Game for the 4th seed. However, it was a meaningful weekend for the New Jersey Renegades and the Philadelphia Little Flyers. Heading into the showcase the Renegades and Little Flyers were tied in points and Philadelphia had one game in hand so they controlled their own fate for the #3 seed.
Back to the Huntsmen. They kicked off the Showcase with one final meeting against the Renegades. New Jersey had a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period when Jacob Chow would score to tie the game. The game headed for overtime, and Mason Henne would be the hero for the Huntsmen with the game winning goal. Ty Jones picked up his final win of the regular season making 26 saves for his league leading 17th win of the year.
The Huntsmen ended the Showcase and the season against the New Jersey 87s. Other than pride, there was nothing else on the line. Pennsylvania rested players throughout the game and after the 1st period Ryan Debro and Justin Kratz would have the Huntsmen up 2-1. The 2nd period was controlled by the 87s as they scored 3 goals and won the game 4-2.
It has been a great inaugural season for the Huntsmen. It seems like yesterday this brand-new team and coach were headed to Massachusetts for the Showcase to begin the year. Down 3-0 to the New England Wolves the Huntsmen would come back and win their first game in franchise history in a shootout 5-4. Fast forward, the Huntsmen finished 2nd in the Mid Atlantic Division with a 25-14-3 record with 53 points and 7th overall in the EHLP.
The Playoffs are a best of 3 inside each division. The Renegades picked up a point in the OT loss to the Huntsmen and then won their final game head to head with the Little Flyers to claim 3rd place in the division. That gave NJR 28pts, to the PLF 27pts. That forced the Little Flyers to take on the Union Jr. Thunder in a one game play in to earn 4th place. The winner of that game will face the New Jersey 87s. The Little Flyers finished the year 13-28-1 27 points, as the Thunder were 5-36-1 11 points. Union had the upset of the weekend on Saturday when they defeated the 87s 3-2. The Little Flyers have been bit by the injury bug lately, but defeated the Thunder 6-3. Now the Little Flyers will take on the New Jersey 87s.
As mentioned before, The Huntsmen will take on the New Jersey Renegades in the first round of the playoffs. Let’s look at the numbers:
Season Record: 25-14-3 53pts / New Jersey Renegades 12-26-4 28pts
Season Series: they have gone head to head 8 times. Huntsmen won the series 6-2
3-0 PA / 6-5 PA / 7-5 PA / 7-1 PA / 5-4 NJ / 2-1 NJ / 4-1 PA / 2-1 OT PA Total Goals 34 – 20 PAH
Leading Scorers in the Series
Reese Gilmore 1 goal, 10 assists
Ryan Arendes 3 goals, 5 assists
Conlan Carpenter 1 goal, 7 assists
Max Finkeldey 4 goals, 2 assists
Dylan Idland 5 goals, 5 assists
Jake Demacos 2 goals, 5 assists
Cameron Cherry 2 goals 4assists
John Bellantoni 3 goals
Ryan Arendes 33G 34A - 67pts
Reese Gilmore 6G 33A - 39pts
Conlan Carpenter 2G 19A – 21pts
Justin Kratz 9G 10A – 20pts
Dyland Idland 15G 20A – 35pts
Cameron Cherry 23G 11A – 34pts
John Bellantoni 5G 19A – 24pts
Justin Sergeant 12G 9A – 21pts
Huntsmen 20.5% 3rd / PPGs 34 2nd / Penalty Kill 83.3% 7th 6SHGs T-5th / PPG Against 27 6th most
Renegades 16.9% 9th / PPGs 25 T-9th / Penalty Kill 82.7% 9th 2SHGs / PPG Against 24 8th most
The EHL Premier handed out league honors earlier this week and the Huntsmen were represented. Ryan Arendes won Top Forward Prospect and Second Team All EHLP. Even though Defenseman Daniil Diukin has moved on to the NJ 87s EHL team, he was awarded Third Team All EHLP.
It’s been an exciting inaugural season for the Huntsmen, and it isn’t over yet, now on to the next chapter, the playoffs.
Game 1 Friday March 10th Renegades at Huntsmen 8:50pm
Game 2 Saturday March 11th Huntsmen at Renegades 4pm
Game 3 * If Necessary Renegades at Huntsmen 1:30pm
By: Joe Sindoni
Play by Play Announcer